Dr. Jex recommended leaving her sock(s) off in order to get the shoes put on tighter. I didn't like this idea because after just the first day in the brace (with no socks) Charlotte developed a small blister on her toe. I was worried that she would get many blisters and be even more uncomfortable. We went downstairs to the orthotic & prosthetics clinic and the orthotist was great! He gave us a size smaller shoe (000) and said to put her sock back on. He also narrowed the length of the bar which helped it fit in her car seat better. It still took a few days after getting the new shoes for her to fully adjust to the brace, but she was no longer slipping out of the shoes which made me happy!
Disclaimer: I'm not advising anyone to go against the instructions of their doctor. I am not a medical professional and cannot give medical advice.
We got into a routine of allowing free time just before bed, with a bath every other night. We've been keeping her out for about 30 minutes each day, and she absolutely loves it! She is always so happy during free time and even happier in the bathtub! She even rolled from her belly to her back for the first time during her time out of the shoes earlier this week.
While I never expected this transition to take nearly two weeks, I'm so proud of how well she's doing. I won't lie and say it was easy. It was far from easy. Many times, I felt like such a bad person forcing my crying child into the "contraption" that is the brace. Many times, I cried right along with her. I lost a lot of sleep and probably wasn't the nicest person to be around. However, I know it's in Charlotte's best interest and she'll thank me someday when she's older. I'm looking forward (but NOT rushing) to seeing her walk, run, play sports. Watching her run around with her brother or her friends, teaching her how to ride a bike, and seeing her just be a normal kid!
I don't think I'll ever be able to fully express my gratitude for the treatment she has received. I'm thankful for the loving God that I serve who is answering our prayers through the hands of doctors. I'm thankful for the MANY people who have prayed for and encouraged us thus far. We couldn't do this without all of you! We love you all!